Re: [asa] Who do Adam & Eve represent? (Was: Was Adam a real person?)

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Wed Apr 16 2008 - 03:16:22 EDT

A thought just came into mind for George: since it appears you hold the position that 'Adam and Eve weren't real' (at least not 'historically real,' i.e. flesh and blood living persons, though they were/are still 'theologically real'), what do you claim as the first 'historical' event or action in the Bible? When does 'Biblical history' converge with 'actual, real history' in regard to human persons?

  I find David O's question about 'ascent' rather than 'descent' still a good one because in *most* evolutionary narratives, noting that people are using the related but independent word 'development' in special cases now, the verb 'to evolve' means to improve, advance, progress, get better, bigger, stronger, smarter, more complex, etc. However, a 'fall/Fall' implies downwardness, at least in its 'visual' sense. Personally, I see this as far too much 2dimensionality for our electronic-age, but let me leave that point here for now.
  If I'm understanding the TE/EC position, using part of George's response to Dave W. below, would it make sense to say something like, 'we (i.e. humanity) evolved into losing the kind of relationship that God intended'? Or is this too agent-less, passive, without responsibility or guilt in its sound to the eye/ear?
George Murphy <> wrote:
          To Dave W: The primary thing that humanity lost was the development of the kind of relationship with God that God intended.
  To Dave O: It depends on what is meant by "essential historicity." As I've said, I think that Gen.2 & 3 (we are not really considering 1 here) tells us something that is true theologically about the first humans. But if by "essential historicity" Silva means that Gen.1-3 is all historical narrative then the only necessary response is "Nonsense," with reference to the lack of any mention of such "essential historicity of Genesis 1-3" in the ecumenical creeds in support.
    ----- Original Message -----
  From: David Opderbeck
  Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 4:42 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] Who do Adam & Eve represent? (Was: Was Adam a real person?)

  What do y'all do with a quote like this from Moises Silva: "Now I happen to believe that the essential historicity of Genesis 1-3 is a fundamental article of Christian orthodoxy." (Silva, in Inerrancy and Hermeneutic, ed. Harvy Conn, at p. 75). (Note that Silva also says "I would want to argue just as strongly that such an interpretation is independent of my commitment to inerrancy.").

  On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 4:19 PM, Dave Wallace <> wrote:
    George Murphy wrote:

  Don: Collins' approach is fairly close to mine - see, e.g., my chapter "Christology, Evolution, and the Cross" in the same book. I wouldn't say - & I don't think Collins would - that through the work of Christ "the effect of original sin is reversed" because that suggests being brought back to an originally perfect state. Instead, the evolutionary development of humanity is re-oriented toward the eschatological goal that God intends.

George are you saying that nothing was lost when man/mankind disobeyed God? If one believes, as I do, that (at a minimum) something was lost in the relationship between God and man, then is not the effect of original sin reversed, at least to some extent? I am not assuming either a literal Adam or an initial perfect condition of mankind.

Dave W

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.

David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology 
 between 0000-00-00 and 9999-99-99       <hr size=1>Looking for the perfect gift? Give the gift of Flickr!
To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Wed Apr 16 03:18:15 2008

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Wed Apr 16 2008 - 03:18:16 EDT